In 2021 I joined a non-profit working with schools to meet the needs of students and families in the community. I have since started a food pantry at the school, a clothing and coat closet for students, raised and donated thousands of dollars for medical bills, and organized and transported students to doctor appointments and eye exams for glasses. In the meantime, my employer made an error on my tax withholdings and I now owe almost 2ooo dollars in taxes to the IRS. To be fair, I should have audited it at some point during the year, but did not. It is my fault.
I’ve been in the process of purchasing a run down building in the community to help further (as maybe another non-profit), but cannot afford to put heat or a/c in until I’ve finished paying it off. I owe about 10k on it still. With the tax situation, I’m now even further away from the help I’d like to contribute. I’ll make it, but I want to do more than just make it.
I do not own a home; I have been renting a place with my wife. At the end of this year I will hopefully have this building paid for but I may have to live in it while I fix it up. It’s in pretty bad shape.
The school I work at is a title 1 school. Most of the kiddos qualify for assistance and live in poverty. I just happen to make enough to not qualify for assistance, but not enough to pay for the things I need to be more effective. I’d like to continue working in the community and helping as much as I can.
The majority of my day is spent listening and counseling with the kiddos. It’s been heartbreaking hearing the abuse and neglect that is rampant here in our country. Most of what I can offer is a listening ear and validation of their experiences. The town is small enough that there is not a local counselor or therapist within 45 miles, and most can’t afford therapy anyway. The school did not even have a counselor for most of this year. They had quit while under investigation for misconduct. They’ve hired one finally a couple of weeks ago. We are now helping one another.
Our school has 350 kiddos. Of those, I visit with about 12 a day. Most of the ones I see have at least one parent in prison, dead, or absent from their life. In addition, there are no places for them to go and just hang out. My desire is to create that for them.
I do not want to return to the for-profit business world if I can help it, not that there is anything wrong with it. But my life has changed since starting non-profit work. And certainly I need more help now than ever. It has been the only way I have experienced usefulness and worth in my life.
Can you help me?